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In the beginning both, Carol and Gary worked in downtown Dallas and shared in the care and feeding of the PrideRock animals. Their day would start around 6:30 a.m.. Gary making his morning visit to all the animals to say good morning, pick up any pans that might be left out for the early morning eaters, and make sure everyone is set for the day.

The hardest part of the day was leaving their haven in the woods to make the drive to Dallas and get home around 6:00 p.m., if there are no errands to run. All the neighbors knew when they get home because that's when the roaring and howling would start.

After a quick change of clothes and something to eat (if they were lucky), it was outside to do what they loved most, care for the animals.

Backthen Carol did all the mowing on the property, so sometimes was a little extra time for that in the summer along with watering all the flowers and newly planted shrubs. Carol also took care of all the domestic dogs were who were housed close to the wolves who Gary usually cleared up each evening before feeding as well. In the summer, Carly and Harley, who were not accustomed nor did they like the heat, stayed in the house during the day and were brought out for a few hours in the evening for some exercise.

The wolf pens consisted of four separate areas for the four packs. They had large areas of dirt with covered patios which had to be hosed down each evening.

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Wet tiger - Shealee Mariah

The primary cleanup with the cats occurs in the evenings after work and on the weekends with the help of a few dedicated volunteers. Cleanup for the cats involves several enclosures that have concrete floors which must be washed out. The other enclosures received more thought in the construction process and have plenty of dirt so that cleaning is not so intensive. Of course, each animal gets some personal attention and as much loving as possible.

Apache and Lakota, a pair of cougars rescued approximately seven years ago, were always ready for some special attention. They turned out to be very affectionate cougars during their time at PrideRock in spite of their abandonment by their previous owner. Apache was probably the oldest resident and had to have medication every day to alleviate any arthritic pain. Lakota was spayed so they could be together again in a new, bigger enclosure. Apache spend a lot of time swaying in his tire like an old man in his rocking chair.

Both Apache and Lakota have crossed the Rainbow Bridge and are waiting for us on the other side. They both passed away very peacefully of old age, knowing that they were loved.

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After cleaning the cat pens and getting all the hugs and kisses possible, it's time to begin the routine feeding, to which they have become accustomed, right down to who gets fed first. Each cat has his own variation of the same diet, which consists of a beef/horse blend and chicken for the most part. The beef/horse meat is complete with vitamins and Oasis supplement is added to the chicken. In the summer they fast a couple of times a week as their appetites drop way off. It's just too hot to eat in the Texas summers!

Some of the cats take their time eating while others can't eat fast enough. There are fond memories of Sophie, who was spoiled anyway, but who liked to be hand-fed the last few bites by Gary, who patiently sat with her and complied with her wishes. Although our new pans are much harder to make tacos out of, they have to be picked up pretty quickly or there is lots of banging and trying to pull off the chains. They definitely kept us on the run each evening.

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Carol and Gary usually got to go inside around 10:00 or 10:30 and try if they didn't eat first, to grab a quick bite. "The important thing was that all the wonderful animals of PrideRock were full and happy, and felt very loved", Carol says. "Considering our devotion and love for them, this effort on our part is well worth it, and it was our mission to see that it will continue for many years to come."

Over the years our typical day has evolved into something very different but the end result is the same. All the animals at Priderock are coved for and know only love and respect from their caretakers

Priderock continues to be our labor of love and has been a dream come true. We feel very blessee ❤.